The public will have its first opportunity on Saturday, Nov. 14, to see the 20 ornaments to be sold during the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts' 2009 "Hooked on Art" fund-raiser. The exhibition of original works of art by local artists will be on display at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House through the event's closing reception on Friday, Dec. 4.

The exhibition/fund-raiser's opening date coincides with the Downtown Art Walk, explained Jean Stephens, chair of the "Hooked on Art" event. On that date, the Art Center will be open during its regular Saturday hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and for the Art Walk from 6 to 9 p.m.

During the three-week period leading to Dec. 4, the public may bid on the ornaments that are designated for the silent auction or purchase raffle tickets for those that will be raffled.

"Patrons also have the option of purchasing any of the silent auction ornaments before the closing reception at the buy-it-now price of $150," Stephens explained.

The closing reception will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 4. After final bids and raffle ticket purchases have been made, the winners of the silent auction will be announced and the winning tickets will be drawn.

"We are excited about this unique fund-raiser that showcases local artists," said Marty Prince, president of the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts. "Last year we raised over $2,000 for the SFA art scholarship fund. We are hoping to exceed that amount this year."

Participating artists include Nancy and Peter Andrew, Jeff Brewer, Neal Cox, Christian Cutler, Kira Enriquez, Peggy Fare, Gary Frields, Terri Goggans and Amanda Hancock. Also, Delores Jenkins, Charlie and Corrine Jones, Wally Knight, Aloma Marquis, Gary Parker, Marty Prince, Scott Runnels, Jim Snyder and Ruby Woodward.

The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. in downtown Nacogdoches. For more information, please call (936) 468-1131.